WPIAL “A” Preview: Teams of the Decade Meet Again
Written by: Billy Splain on Wednesday, November 25th, 2009
There are many reasons to like the final week of November. Many like it because it is the start of the Holidays, some like it because of all the deals they can get during the busiest shopping weekend of the year, while others enjoy stuffing themselves ten times over on Thanksgiving. While next Friday to many is “Black Friday” to eight teams in western Pennsylvania the 27th of November is “Football Friday”, and they can get a pretty sweat deal without waiting in long checkout lines; a WPIAL Championship, no purchase necessary.
The “ride of ‘09” had its fair share of sudden twists and turns, while many teams expected to do well this season did others just couldn’t get started, then you had the teams no one saw coming, all made for a great WPIAL season that will come to an end on the North Shore on Friday.
Class-A Championship: Clairton Bears (11-1) vs. Rochester Rams (12-0) at 10:30am
These two teams don’t need any introduction to each other or the Championship game, for the Clairton Bears they are back looking to defend their title and return to the title game for the fourth time in five years. Standing in the Bears way yet again is a team from the Big 7; the Rochester Rams.
Is a pretty scary to know the Bears haven’t given up a point all post-season long, not one; in fact the Bears have shut out seven of the twelve opponents including a 33-0 win last week over the Laurel Spartans, who gave Clairton it’s only loss of the season back in week one which is also the first and only time the Bears gave up more than seven points all season. Did I forget to mention the Bears also have one of the top offensives? The Bears have gone over 50 points in five games this season and lead the state in points scored with 546. Look for senior standout Kevin Weatherspoon to be a key for Clairton on both sides of the ball.
Now, let’s forget about the Rams of Rochester. They too are no stranger to the WPIAL finals returning for the first time since 2006 when they lost to non-other than Clairton 16-13. The Rams were winning WPIAL titles early in the decade winning three straight from 2000 to 2002, not to mention that they will make their seventh appearance to the finals in 10 years. Two of their title games have been vs. the Bears with each team winning a meeting.
Rochester’s defense has done well, allowing more than seven points just one time all season. Senior Trey Johnston has been a standout for the Rams all season most notably on offense. Speaking about their offense; Rochester has scored over 40 points 5 times this season and are averaging 35.6 points per game.
Last season these two teams met in the semi-finals, with Clairton winning 16-0. Will Rochester be able to claim their first title since 2004 when they took down Clairton 15-14, or will it be the Bears that will repeat as single-A Champs. Find out Friday as these two do war on the gridiron in this brunch special.
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